Page 2 June 18, 2020
Loving Tells the Story of America’s
First Inter-racial Married Couple
By Ryan Rojas for cinemacy.com
As seen in a recurring set of events
throughout the film Loving, Richard Loving
(Joel Edgerton) strives to build a house for
his soon-to-be wife, Mildred (Ruth Negga).
At first, his brick-laying is fast and sloppy,
slapping cement in between bricks at a
thoughtless speed. It’s not long after Richard
and Mildred – an inter-racial couple in 1950s
Virginian South – move to Washington D.C.,
and encounter profound racism against them
over their relationship. In building this new
house and aware of the hate spewed his wau,
Richard now lays the bricks and measures
much more concertedly, much more aware
and precise of how he must live overall to
ensure his and Mildred’s safety if they choose
to be together, and as a married couple.
Based on the true story of Richard and
Mildred Loving, Loving tells the real-life
story of America’s first interracial married
couple, a romance that invited jail time and
threatened their civil liberties. As a film,
Loving doesn’t intend to falsify sentiment,
or play to vapid conventions. The quiet yet
committed path of love that Richard and
Mildred Loving take while their enemies
– being the local townspeople, state police
department, or Supreme Court – hurl at them,
is a road paved with grace and dignity, and
serves as a template for how one can live
in this day and age.
Writer and director Jeff Nichols crafts this
movie to play like a love story unlike most;
it’s not a sweeping Hollywood romance like
The Notebook, and it’s not a suspenseful
courtroom drama, either. Nichols shows
how this pure-hearted love pushes all other
struggles to the periphery. It’s as if even the
film itself is an unwarranted intrusion of their
own relationship, and whose judgments and
opinions they wouldn’t care for.
Of course, the real magic in Loving comes
from the performances between Joel Edgerton
and Ruth Negga, who compliment each other
wonderfully as Richard and Mildred Loving
With his bleached hair and yellowed teeth, Joel
(in a career-best performance), tenderly shapes
the character of Richard to be a pure-hearted
Southerner, whose puppy-dog innocence
doesn’t consider that choosing to be with a
woman whose skin colors will threaten his
life as well. Ruth Negga as Mildred captivates
the screen with her enormous watering eyes
and total grace. Every moment of commitment
between them – whether whispering nighttime
love admissions to each other, building
a house together, or just the quiet looking
into each others eyes, shows how love will
always win in the end.
Loving is rated PG-13 for thematic elements.
Available to stream on HBO and to
rent on Amazon. •
Loving courtesy Cinemacy.com
Your Neighborhood Therapist
Dear Neighborhood Therapist,
My partner and I have been living together
for a year now. Some habits they have really
do bother me. I find myself saying nothing
and “just taking it.” Eventually I “get over
it” and I’m not angry anymore, but I worry
that if I keep “just getting over it” in the
long term that this will lead to resentment
that will be terrible for our relationship. Is
this way of handling things unhealthy?
– Should I be Angrier?
Dear Should I be Angrier,
Think of rain falling on a garden. If the
rain doesn’t come too quickly, the soil can
absorb it without flooding or washing away.
If the layer of soil is thick, and if the garden
has a robust root system, the land can absorb
more rain. If the soil is thin, with little to
hold it in place, it will erode easily, washed
away by even a soft drizzle.
A garden can be a useful metaphor for
relationships. If problems or bad habits are
like rain showers, then the questions become,
how bad is the storm, and how deep and
fertile is the soil of your relationship? Most
“healthy” gardens not only handle the occasional
rain shower, but they need and expect
them in order to grow. If your relationship is
otherwise solid and can absorb the problems,
then it may just be worth it to grumble to
yourself, your friends and your therapist, and
then move on. Take a stand when you have
to - but not everything is worth fighting over,
especially if the soil is thick.
The good news is that as long as it’s not
illegal or harmful to your physical health,
then you get to be the one who defines what
is healthy or unhealthy for your relationship.
If your relationship can absorb it, then allowing
your relationship to do so is probably
not “unhealthy.” We can all handle different
amounts of discomfort. Do you have a sense
of how much discomfort you can tolerate and
still have the relationship be worth it?
If you live long enough, you will probably
have a chance to experience many of the small
and large humiliations and inconveniences life
brings us. So often when we come into contact
with people or entities more powerful than
us, we are forced to bite our tongue for fear
of bigger consequences that are not worth it.
If - in your mind and in your heart - the
relationship is more powerful than you as
an individual, then you are both sometimes
going to have to give up precious little pieces
of yourselves in order to remain in it. You -
and only you - have every right to decide if
doing so is unhealthy or not.
Please write to tom@tomandrecounseling.
com or text to 310.776.5299 with questions
about handling what is affecting your life,
your family, the community or the world.
Tom Andre is a Licensed Marriage & Family
Therapist (LMFT119254). The information
in this column is for educational purposes
only and nothing herein should be construed
as professional advice or the formation of a
therapeutic relationship. •
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